Friday, August 5, 2016

Hope From Harper Supports Anaplastic Wilms Tumor Research

Hope From Harper is announcing the award of our first direct research grant, given to the Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute (cc-TDI), located in Beaverton, Oregon.  This grant will support research being conducted by Andy Woods at cc-TDI.

Andy Woods (left) and Dr. Charles Keller, MD (right) in the research lab

Andy Woods is a unique kind of pediatric cancer researcher.  Andy is father to daughter Stellablue, a childhood cancer survivor who was diagnosed at age 4 with Diffuse Anaplastic Wilms Tumor - a rare, aggressive and often unresponsive sub-type of Wilms Tumor. After Andy's experience as parent of a childhood cancer patient, he is seeking to help find and develop new, less toxic treatment options for types of childhood cancer that don't respond well to current treatments.

“I am thrilled to receive this grant from Hope From Harper for our Anaplastic Wilms Tumor project. Children with the anaplastic variant of Wilms tumor respond poorly compared to their non-anaplastic counterparts. The goal of our project will be to develop more-effective treatment strategies for these particular Wilms kids suffering with anaplastic disease,” says Andy.

Hope From Harper was founded in memory of Harper Wehneman, daughter of the organization's founders, Brian and Melissa Wehneman. "Harper, like Andy's daughter Stellablue, was diagnosed with Diffuse Anaplastic Wilms Tumor. It seems fitting that Hope From Harper's first direct research grant should be to support a parent-researcher who is looking for improved treatments for Harper’s specific type of childhood cancer. We're so happy to help fund Andy's work at cc-TDI to help these kids who face such a challenging diagnosis," says Brian Wehneman, Hope From Harper's Executive Director.

Doctor Charles Keller, MD, Scientific Director of the cc-TDI says, “We are grateful that Hope From Harper has supported Andy’s research project on anaplastic Wilms tumor.  When childhood cancer is unusually rare, grass roots efforts really matter.  The contribution of Hope From Harper to Andy’s pilot project is tremendously empowering.  This work will dovetail with the Anaplastic Wilms Tumor Roadmap to be written at the parent-driven Nanocourse a few weeks from now.  We are privileged to be part of Harper’s memory in this way.”

Hope From Harper is awarding a $1,000 grant to support Andy's research at cc-TDI, which is associated with a summer residency at the institute. This grant will allow Andy’s research project to conduct additional cell-line analysis that will help confirm strong applicability of study results to anaplastic Wilms Tumor.  

Learn more about Andy and Stellablue's story HERE

No comments: